Difference Between Client and Server Systems

Client vs Server Systems

Computers are needed in businesses of different sizes. Large computer setups that include networks and mainframes are used in large businesses. A computer network used in these types of businesses has a client-server architecture or two-tier architecture. The main purpose of this architecture is the division of labor which is required in large organizations.


In client-server environment, the server computer acts as the “brains” of the business. A very large capacity computer is used as a server. There can be a mainframe also as it stores a wide variety of functionalities and data.

Generally, applications and data files are stored on the server computer. Employee computers or workstations access these applications and files across the network. For example, an employee can access company’s data files stored on the server, from his/her client computer.

In some cases, employees may access only specific applications from their client machine. Application server is the name given to this type of server. The client-server architecture is fully utilized in this type of environment as employees have to login from their client machine in order to access the application stored on the server. For example, these kinds of applications include graphic design programs, spreadsheets and word processors. The client- server architecture is illustrated in each case.

Apart from the storage medium, the server also acts as a processing power source. The client machines get their processing power from this server source. By doing so, no extra hardware for the client is needed and it utilizes greater processing power of the server.


In client- server architecture, the client acts a smaller computer that is used by the employees of the organization in order to perform their day to day activities. The employee uses the client computer in order to access the data files or applications stored on the server machine.

The rights authorized to the client machine can be different. Some employees have the access to data files of the organization while other may only access the applications present on the server.

Apart from using the applications and data files, the client machine can also utilize the processing power of the server. In this case, the client computer is plugged-in to the server and the server machine handles all the calculations. In this way, the large processing power of the server can be utilized without any addition of hardware on the client side.

The best example of client- server architecture is WWW or World Wide Web. Here the client is the browser installed on each computer and the information about different pages is stored on the server side from which the client or the user can access it.

Difference between client and server

• Client is a smaller computer through which the information or application stored on the server is accessed by the user whereas server is a powerful computer that stores the data files and applications.

• In some cases, the client may utilize the greater processing power of the server machine.

• In some cases, the client side may have a better graphical user interface or GUI as compared to the server side.